LHC orders granting equal rights to transgender community

Staff Reporter

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Saturday ordered the provision of equal rights to members of the transgender community. In his four-page verdict in the case of Faizullah, a eunuch, who applied for lectureship, Justice Faisal Zaman Khan of the LHC wrote that protecting the rights of eunuchs was the moral and legal duty of the government.

The court also ordered the government to immediately formulate a comprehensive policy in order to ensure implementation on the Protection of Rights of Transgender Act. Reminding the government departments that eunuchs had been recognised as a third gender worldwide, the LHC directed these departments to stop discriminating against members of their staff belonging to the transgender community and treat them at par with their male and female employees.

Judge Faisal Zaman Khan wrote that he was saddened by the kind of treatment meted out to Faizullah when he applied for lectureship. “Faizullah, who had applied for the slot under section 3 of Protection of Rights of Transgender Act, felt extremely disappointed when his application was thrown out since the vacancy was meant for only males and females,” the judge said, and added this act on the part of PPSC was not only a violation of the law but also of the constitution.

The government departments still believe in discriminating against members of the transgender community, Justice Faisal Zaman Khan said, and added government officials’ mentality of keeping eunuchs deprived of their rights was quite evident during the case proceedings. The judge said counsel for the respondent had clearly stated that his client was only allowing Faizullah to apply for lectureship. “These remarks by the respondent’s lawyer are a clear-cut discrimination against members of the transgender community,” he added.

“Sadly, the violation of rights of eunuchs continues despite the fact that a law in this regard has already been in force since 2018,” he remarked. “Surely, a transgender in Pakistan has to confront lots of difficulties in getting education,” the judge regretted. He further wrote in the verdict that for a eunuch to get post-graduation education was not only a achievement for him but also a source of inspiration for other members of his community.